Thursday, December 26, 2002

Edifier du Jour-Luke 2:25-35(NASB)
25 And there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon; and this man was righteous and devout, looking for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord's Christ. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to carry out for Him the custom of the Law, 28 then he took Him into his arms, and blessed God, and said, 29 "Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace, According to Your word; 30 For my eyes have seen Your salvation, 31 Which You have prepared in the presence of all peoples, 32 A LIGHT OF REVELATION TO THE GENTILES, And the glory of Your people Israel." 33 And His father and mother were amazed at the things which were being said about Him. 34 And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, "Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed-- 35 and a sword will pierce even your own soul--to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed."
It didn't take long for the darker side of Jesus' destiny to come to the fore. He was (and is) the consolation of Israel (and the world) but will be divisive. He is a sign to be opposed, even to this day, for people who choose to go against God. I was thinking of this Christmas Day bombing of a Pakistani church where three children were killed. Jesus can bring people from every nation together as brothers, but He can also bring together people who don't accept the simple message that God came to die for our sins. He's both a uniter and a divider. He's not a univerasalist, so He is by nature divisive. Some people won't accept Him. Others will go to war against Him, opting for either no God or a false and warped version of God. Now that the Christmas season is all over except for the putting away of decorations, the sales and the returning of duplicates and bad fits, the touchy-feely baby in a manger goes back to His day job of being Lord and Savior, unnerving people who want to do things their way.

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